As the 2020 deadline looms for the UK to reduce itís carbon emissions by over 30%, many businesses, policy-makers and environmental experts are viewing carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants as the way forward. In a nutshell, the process involves capturing carbon dioxide released from power stations burning fossil fuels, and then burying it at great depths. This would significantly reduce the UKís carbon footprint without being dependant on renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, solar or wind turbine technologies.
The levy, which would total £4bn, had the backing of all three major political parties when it was passed under the Energy Act 2010, prior to the general election in May. However, as the coalition executes more spending cuts, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives may find they have to end the levy. Environmental experts say that the levy must go ahead if the UK is to meet its legal requirements in 2020, and they have the full backing of several influential businesses including Siemens and Shell.
According to Ed Miliband, Labourís former energy and climate change secretary, up to 100,000 jobs could be created by investment in CCS, and that by 2030 it could generate as much as £6.5 billion annually. However, in these tough economic times, will UK home-owners accept the levy?
Following the recent public spending cuts and rises in fuel prices, the proposal could be met with fierce opposition.